This is more of a vent than anything but I haven't had a good nights sleep in... well about three years. I'm starting to lose it a little. Any help would be appreciated!
I've co-slept with my almost three year old (three in July) since birth. She's never slept for longer than a few hours, but for the first year or so, I was fine with that. Now that she's nearing three, I'm at my wits end here.
She nursed all through the night, about every hour or so until I decided to night wean her right before she turned two. That was horrible enough, but after a few weeks, she didn't ask to nurse at night anymore and while she was still waking frequently, it was not as often.
Then we had the problem of her only falling asleep while nursing. I weaned her right around 30 months, so that's not a problem anymore. But now I'm ready for her to be in her own bed.
I started this process a few times but she was SO obviously not ready. Now she's taking to it much better. We have a toddler bed set up next to ours. She argues a bit before bed saying she wants to come into "mama and daddy's bed" but there are rarely tears. The catch is that both my husband and I have to be in bed, lights out, eyes closed before she'll finally resign to her own bed and fall asleep. This is SO inconvenient, not to mention annoying.
She's still waking up crying most nights. I calm her from my bed, saying "It's okay, mama's here" but I don't touch her (When I first moved her into the toddler bed, I had to hold her hand practically all night. I'm 'weaning' her from that as well now). Even when she was in my bed, there was not much I could do. I suspect she may have night terrors, I can't see any other reason for her to be waking up screaming like this at her age.
She does sleep better and longer in her own bed, but not by much. I let her sleep in my bed the other night because she wasn't feeling well and both of us were tossing and turning all night.
I'm so TIRED and it's really wearing on me. It's hard for me to be a loving, sympathetic mom when she wakes up screaming at four in the morning for ten minutes straight. In my head I'm screaming, "SHUTTUP and go to sleep!" But I don't do that, because obviously it wouldn't do any good.
Oh and she stopped taking regular naps around 18 months and by two she only napped when she passed out at odd times from exhaustion. She doesn't do that very often though, and when she does it's usually and hour or two before bedtime, and she'll want to be up all night. Ever since she stopped taking regular naps, I've been trying to tweak her schedule- waking her up and hour earlier, or putting her to bed an hour later, etc- to try and find a schedule that works. I've tried bedtime routines, baths, singing, reading, blah blah. She will NOT give me a break.
My goal now is getting her into her own room and hopefully calming herself down when she wakes up (she does this some nights with no soothing words from me). I'm guessing this will take months if not longer. It's so frustrating when I'm at a friend's house, they tell their two year old "Okay, bedtime", give them a kiss on their forehead and they're out. WTF? Why not mine?!?!?!? (Albeit, my friend who's child does this, did CIO. I don't care what the results are, I'm just NOT willing to resort to that.)
On a side note, since I mentioned the possible night terrors, she has had a couple instances where she was sleep walking, about a year or so ago. I haven't noticed anything since, but I've read the two are connected. Thought I'd toss that in there .
Oh and I just read this over and I wanted to clarify: she wakes up constantly throughout the night- sometimes crying, and sometimes she just sits up, looks around and then goes back to sleep. They are two very different things. When she wakes up calm, she might ask for me, but those are the times I ignore it and she goes back to sleep on her own. I think the way I worded it earlier made it sound like she was screaming for ten minutes and I was ignoring THAT, but I don't. Just to be clear.
I feel like I'm taking one step forward, two steps back with this. There are other details I should probably mention, but this is pretty long as it is. If you'd like to know more I'll gladly fill you in. Thanks in advance!